Windows 7 Release Candidate

Downloaded and experimenting with Release Candidate of Windows 7. I’m using the x86 version in a Virtual PC session (with ‘Vista’ setting). I plan to switch to Win7 once the release version appears by reinstalling my Vista x64 main workstation. That will be a long, unproductive day!

Installation: No obvious changes except new background graphics. The glowing windows logo is the same as the beta, followed by a cool graphic during "preparing for first use".

Configuration: Same

Appearance: Very similar to beta – could not see any obvious changes

Performance: The Win7 test was in a Virtual PC session with 2Gb of memory, running on a quad core box (but only one cpu assigned). Performs ok but a bit slow on clicking and UI (as one would expect with a virtual PC). May improve if I add the virtual machine addons.


Windows 7 Networking vs Vista

When I first upgraded to Vista I had a horrendous time with network copying issues. The new networking stack in Vista was different to XP and caused lots of problems. For many people local copies to and from servers seemed to be the issue, but for me it was copying files over a VPN.

This VPN link worked fine with XP to the remote W2003 server and would copy large files (say 8MB) without problems.

Vista had a problem, and it appears that the fault lies in the router or possibly in how Vista tries to optimise the file copy, which would essentially reset its connection half way through the copy and re-establish it. I never managed to fix this and even the SP1 fixes didn’t change this situation.

Now I have a Win7 beta running on VPC I’ve just been testing this over the VPN and to/from local servers and things look like they are a LOT better. In particular the VPN copies do not seem to cause restarts on the router/VPN so it looks like Microsoft has spent a bit of time on this area.


Looks like I was fooled by something, as it does not seem to be fixed. The problem is I cannot identify where the issue lies – at the router or Vista/Win7. I suspect it’s a problem with the router but this is difficult to pin down.

Worse still I’ve found that even when I use the inbuilt dial-up VPN within Vista similar problems are happening with large transfers. I will set up a Win7 RC client on a test machine and see if it is still there.

Windows 7 beta

Just started playing with Windows 7 beta and like what I’ve seen so far. It’s only running in a Virtual PC window, but with a single CPU and 2GB RAM allocated (which most target systems would have) it’s quick and responsive.

The main thing you notice very quickly is the absence of UAC – it’s still there but Microsoft has found the right balance at last between protection and intrusive pop-up alerts. Instead of OFF/ON there are now four or five levels of protection – I’ve left it at the default setting – whereas with Vista I turned off UAC very quickly because it was annoying for a power user.

The new Taskbar with icons rather than the icon+text of XP/Vista takes a bit of getting used to but it’s a better use of the space. Hard to tell the difference between a running app in the task bar and a quick-launch icon (next to the start button).

More later…